Skin cancer

Rest assured, you’ll receive an accurate diagnosis, personalized care, and advanced treatment options for skin cancer at Community Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Skin exams

Ask your primary care provider if you’d benefit from skin exams by a health professional. Regular exams can help you identify suspicious moles or bumps early, especially if you’ve had skin cancer in the past or you have other risk factors. Prevention, early detection, and timely treatment improve your long-term outcome.

Diagnosing skin cancer

If your doctor wants to learn more about a lump, sore, or mark on your skin, they may order a biopsy. For this procedure, you’ll receive local anesthetic to numb the skin. Then, your doctor will remove all or part of the suspicious area and send it to a lab to check for cancer.

Treating skin cancer

If you receive a skin cancer diagnosis, your dermatologist (skin doctor) will work with other clinicians as needed to provide exactly the right treatment for you.

Skin cancers are divided into 2 categories: melanoma and nonmelanoma. Melanoma is potentially a more dangerous type of skin cancer. Therefore, we have a multidisciplinary team including surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists who work together to put together individualized treatment plans for each patient.

Mohs surgery

Mohs surgery cures 98 percent of cases of basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. This treatment works especially well for large tumors that:

  • Have uneven borders
  • Are in places where surgical removal likely won’t cause other health problems
  • Have returned after other cancer treatments

How it works

During the procedure, your surgeon removes a thin layer of skin and checks the tissue under a microscope. If cancer cells are visible, the surgeon takes off another layer, examines it, and repeats the process until the skin samples are free of cancer cells.

Usually, the treated area of skin heals on its own afterward. But if you want to improve the look of the area, ask if a minor plastic surgery procedure can help.

Low-energy X-ray therapy

Superficial radiation therapy works well for skin cancer that’s on areas where surgery may not be your best option, such as your:

  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Nose

This treatment uses low-energy X-rays on just the top layer of tissue, where cancer cells are. Your doctor customizes the treatment dose for your cancer, so you get results with as little radiation as possible. Therapy sessions are as short as one minute, which means you can keep your everyday routine.

Take comfort knowing you’re in experienced hands for this treatment at Community Hospital. We’ve been providing superficial radiation therapy longer than any other provider in the area.

Support and survivorship

Make life with cancer easier by taking advantage of a wide range of patient and caregiver resources through Community Hospital. You’ll learn more about your care options, and you’ll have opportunities to make meaningful connections with supportive professionals, patients, and survivors.

During and after treatment, survivorship services will help you and your doctor keep you in your best health long term.

Ask for a referral

You’ll need a referral from your doctor to schedule a cancer care appointment at Montage Health’s Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Contact us at (831) 625-4753 if you have questions or need help.

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